As an industry we are at a crossroads and barriers to successful regeneration are mounting, local politicisation combined with national political instability are hindering innovation and creativity. The term itself has fallen out of favour in recent years as public perception of development has deteriorated. Now is the
time for a rethink of regeneration.
Trowers & Hamlins is investigating the methodology behind successful delivery of regeneration across the UK, looking at how to maximise impact for key stakeholders, and support and grow prosperous communities. The research will draw on Trowers’ expertise across the UK including Birmingham, Manchester and the South West, bringing to the fore regional differences and investigating how regeneration works across the country, and how this must evolve.
Trowers & Hamlins, working with ING Media, has partnered with Evaluate|Locate and Commonplace to bring together two very different data sets to add a layer of place-specific data to the research. Analysis of postcode-level economic prosperity data alongside detailed community surveys provides the vital evidence to prove the impact that regeneration can and does have on communities, local economies, and the nation as a whole.
Trowers & Hamlins:
“The built environment sector needs to re-evaluate its relationship with regeneration. Although much of the public and private sector is already aligned on the importance of regeneration, we need policy and funding to enable longer term thinking and ensure quality. This research is bringing together public and private sector, as well as key industry bodies in various locations, to ask what’s next for regeneration. How can we repair its image in the eyes of the wider public, and how can we make the necessary regulatory changes to unlock new opportunities for successful and impactful regeneration?”
“This really is a very urgent conversation. We’re seeing more and more highly provocative and damaging language being used to talk about development, only worsening the disconnect between the industry and communities – and this plays out nowhere more acutely than in regeneration. The industry needs to rebuild trust by championing good regeneration that really serves communities and can illustrate long term value. Which is what we’re hoping to do with this research, looking at key locations nationally to understand where good regeneration exists and how good regeneration generates economic and social benefits protecting a city from economic instability.”
“Commonplace public engagement data shows a huge public thirst for involvement in shaping places through a dialogue about long-term benefits of change. Engagement has exploded inasmuch as people can express themselves on social media with little hindrance. The challenge is to extract data that expresses public preferences or perspectives from this cacophony, and use it to help developers and planners build trust and achieve better outcomes for everyone. The proliferation of online activity presents an opportunity to harness data about community needs into a conversation about better places. This can be the basis for better decision-making and understanding the real social value of change, which is rooted in local needs and aspirations.”
Evaluate | Locate:
“Investment into regeneration projects needs to be shaped by a data-driven understanding of a location’s economic identity and ‘direction of travel’. Having insights into what is powering an existing economy and where strengths can be built on is vital to bringing regeneration which delivers maximum benefit to all from investment.”
As part of the research, Trowers & Hamlins has been hosting roundtables to bring together a diversity of experience and collate a range of views on regeneration as it plays out in all parts of the country.
Roundtables in London, Manchester, and Birmingham, combined with an international view from Cannes during MIPIM, have brought to the fore a number of recurring themes and each discussion has highlighted the important role of regeneration as an enabler of economic stability for a city or place.
Key themes so far include:
1. The role of engagement, language and communications in inspiring trust around regeneration projects, as well as the important timing of engagement and the effective process of consultation.
2. The required long-term accountability and stewardship for delivering the needs of the community, tackling issues around viability and challenges related to the UK’s political cycle.
3. Aligning regeneration and equity with decarbonisation to reach Net Zero, whilst also addressing urgent issues such as the UK’s lack of affordable housing.
4. The difference between larger, mixed-use regeneration projects and smaller interventions – both of which should amount to more than the sum of its parts.
5. The critical role of a local plan in ensuring the potential of a place is realised, both in terms of development potential and the potential for the community.
6. Passion for place and leadership being a critical factor in regeneration and the long-term success of an area.
Roundtables hosted in more local areas will continue to unpack these themes and the Rethinking Regeneration research will culminate in a report later in 2023, laying out findings and the key lessons for the industry.
If you’d like to find out more, get involved in the campaign, please email email@example.com